Cordner targets mining and exploration for BAe 146

Terry Spruce

Cordner Aviation BAe SurveyorCordner Aviation Group (CAG)
has announced it will enter the mining, exploration and energy market sectors,
offering aircraft with conversions based on proven BAe 146 and Avro RJ aircraft.
These are purpose outfitted for the mining industry’s unique requirements.

Stewart Cordner, president
said “You might say we found a golden opportunity in this often overlooked
market and the initial reactions to the Surveyor and our range of design
concepts, resulting from many candid conversations with prospects in the mining
industry have been totally positive.”

The Surveyors will come from
CAG’s growing remarketing portfolio of BAe 146s and Avro RJs in a range of
models/variants. The selection process is owner-driven and the aircraft
selected for conversion depends on the specific requirements, such as average
number of passengers, operational locations, distances, cargo capabilities and
landing/takeoff conditions.

Says Cordner, “The 146s and Avros are not strangers to mining and energy
exploration and in fact have earned high marks over the years in operations
worldwide. So what we are doing now is building on a proven basic platform and
greatly enhancing it based on our extensive customer needs analyses and using
new technologies now available to us. For example, we have identified and plan
to reduce the operating weight empty (OWE) by over half a ton over the basic
passenger aircraft currently in use worldwide. The benefits are significant in
terms of fuel saving, increased performance and positive environmental
contributions.”

He points out number factors that will make the
Surveyor so attractive to mining and exploration companies: “The aircraft has
all-around excellent hot and high performance, as well as outstanding short
field capability. That can be nothing more than a gravel or dirt airstrip,
located potentially right where the mine is located. By taking this
mine/customer-centric approach, we can minimize the permanent “land take” for
the airfield, which also greatly reduces the environmental impact and,
naturally, provides the industry with a maximum production and logistical
upside.

The aircraft, with 112 seats or less is also approved
for short runways, such as London
City, which means it can
make very steep approaches over rough terrain typical of mine locations. And
when it lands, it is quite independent with an electric internal starter system
and integral air stairs and several other autonomous features

The initial
Surveyor designs include a quick-change (QC) capability. For example, from
all-passengers, to passengers and a separate VIP module, to passengers and a
Medevac LifePort separate cabin. But at the end of the day, it all depends what
the customer requires for his flight operation.

Cordner adds “These aircraft have been simply and ruggedly built originally to
airline standards and for high utilization at remote locations. Considering
their fuel efficiency, low acquisition and operating costs, and a 60,000-hour
lifespan barely touched, they have to be the best bargains in the air. Add to
that the fact that it has the lowest noise print of any similarly sized jet and
meets all current emissions standards, our Surveyor is kind to the environment
as well.”

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